The summer between 11th and 12th grade of high-school I was thinking about college like most 17 year-olds. I dreamt about which university I would attend and what I would study. Who I would live with and what sports I'd play. The clubs I would join and the minor I would choose. That same summer I went on a short-term missions trip that changed my life. I was baptized that week and immediately heard God call me into international long-term missions! Wow! What a change!
My thoughts transformed from which university to which country. From who I would live with to how I would live. It was exciting to say the least! For my entire last year of high-school I was focused on this new dream. As friends sent in their college applications God opened up doors for me to serve Him in Chile with OM. The day after high-school graduation I started fundraising and January 2016 I caught a flight to Santiago, Chile; my new home!
I’ve lived here for one year and things have been busy! In November I got the chance to go on a group outreach to the south of Chile. Included in the trip was a Life Direction Seminar where we took time to examine ourselves and recognize our gifts, abilities, strengths and weaknesses, goals and dreams. So much changed this year; practically everything in my life is different than 365 days ago. That’s when I realized I hadn’t thought beyond Chile.
For over two years Chile had been my focus; in the year leading up to my trip I was focused on fundraising and making all of the preparations and when I arrived I immediately fell in love with the ministry and learning the language. I was focused on making friends and not getting lost in the metro and in all the busyness I hadn’t giving myself space or time to dream beyond Chile.
On that November outreach I began thinking about university again. I began thinking about countries to serve in and different languages to learn. I began thinking about local ministry, sports and traveling. I made a giant list titled “Things I’m thinking” because I couldn’t keep track as the thoughts flooded in. I felt like all of my unspoken dreams had built up inside of me and came pouring out all at once. It was incredible!
I have one more year in Chile, and I don’t want to waste a second. I want to soak up everything God wants to teach me, not missing a single opportunity to serve Him. More than anything I don’t want to get stuck looking to the future and miss the beautiful now. But I will say that it felt like a breath of fresh air to freely think about my future. I have no idea which (if any) of those dreams will come true, God has His perfect path for my life and I don’t want to stray off it even a little. God has given us passions and desires, and it’s fun to let ourselves dream.
What are you dreaming of?